ELKINS PARK -- During the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the nation, there have been numerous published accounts detailing how healthcare professionals on the front lines have been short on the much-needed supplies to treat their patients.

That has included medical facilities in the Philadelphia area, which were running short on personal protective equipment (PPE).

Salus University answered the call.

Provost Dr. Barry Eckert received an urgent email Saturday, March 21, from T. T. Howard in the Office of Academic Affairs at Einstein Healthcare Network concerning its shortage of PPE and asking if Salus had any surplus items it would be willing to donate.

“It was, and is clear, that we were facing a serious pandemic and that healthcare providers faced widespread shortages of PPE,” said Dr. Eckert. “As a healthcare university focused on education and patient care, I felt it was important for Salus to contribute whatever we could.”

Dr. Eckert reached out to the university’s deans and directors, and several programs were able to donate masks and gloves from their supplies to Einstein.

Marie Szolna, administrative assistant for Dr. Eckert; Jonette Owen, assistant dean, practice and assessment of audiologic medicine and assistant professor in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology; and Lydia Parke, assistant director of research, went to the Salus campus Sunday, March 22, to collect the supplies from the programs and prepare them for delivery to Einstein. Carlos Rodriguez, director of security at Salus, delivered the supplies to Einstein the following day.

In addition, Salus also donated supplies to the Montgomery County Emergency Operations Center, which distributes throughout the county to police, fire departments, emergency medical services and hospitals.

Rick Echevarria, director of Facilities and Institutional Services at Salus, received an email from Tom Macchi, vice president of Facilities Management and Capital Planning at Arcadia University, with a “call to action” to address the critical need for supplies in Montgomery County.

According to Echevarria, during the H1N1 pandemic more than five years ago, he had purchased a number of supplies, including N95 masks, to be prepared at the time and into the future. Among the supplies donated by Salus included 1,600 N95 masks; 8,000 pairs of gloves; 60 gallons of Germicidal Ultra Bleach that will make 2,400 gallons of sanitizer; 12 Tyvek suits; two cases of large alcohol wipes; four cases of towels (480 sheets); 30, one gallon jugs to mix the bleach/sanitizer.

“As a member of both the medical community as well as our local community, we want to do everything we can to help keep our providers safe and healthy knowing the sacrifices they are making to care for all of us,” said Salus president Michael Mittelman.

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